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Samizdata, derived from Samizdat /n. - a system of clandestine publication of banned literature in the USSR [Russ.,= self-publishing house]

An offer they decided to refuse

Well, I guess one has to admire the guts of these fellows:

A group of 100 shopkeepers in Palermo, the nerve centre of the Sicilian Mafia, have staged an unprecedented rebellion against the Cosa Nostra by refusing to pay protection money. Until now, almost every business in the Sicilian capital has quietly paid off the Mafia or faced retribution. But since Bernardo Provenzano, the 73-year-old “boss of all the bosses”, was arrested two weeks ago after decades in hiding, the island’s anti-Mafia movement has gathered momentum.

This may end badly, I fear.

9 comments to An offer they decided to refuse

  • It might end badly…but courage is the highest of all the virtues, even when it flames up belatedly. I salute those shopkeepers, and I wish them all the luck and success in the world.

    “In a good cause, there are no failures.” — Isaac Asimov

  • Maybe the mafia need to go into politics?…oopps they already have!

  • emy

    I bet they don’t have many foreign shopkeepers in Sicily. No Tescos or Carrefoure there, a small ‘donation’ might have kept our High Streets locally owned.

    Of course we did pay a fee to the local council, but they did badly when it came to giving protection to local business, didn’t they? It would appear they were even more crooked than the Mafia… all quite ironic really.

  • Brian

    More power to them…

    Courage is the virtue that alone guarantees all others.

  • RAB

    Mr Bridges says
    Anymore trouble out of you
    And every Trattoria, takeaway and ice cream parlour
    Will be pushed into the sea.

  • Johnthan Pearce

    “Does Mr Bridger think he can control Europe from a prison cell, hmmm?”

    Or: “They say he is going to do a job in Italy”….”I hope he likes spaghetti, they serve it four times a day in Italian prisons”.

    The Italian Job is just such a great film!

  • Mark McGilvray

    I fear Jonathan is correct. The shopkeepers are to be applauded, but the mafia in not about to give up its bread and butter extortion racket. Of the 100, they will target the strongest and most promintent. These mafia animals kill people and the gauntlet is obviously down.

  • Julian Morrison

    Think “the food pyramid” law from biology. Predators will always be massively outnumbered by prey. The Maf and similar terrify the masses by “making an example” of a few. This only works if the people are already cowed, or at least too dispersed to organize a response.

    The upside of the predator:prey ratio is that smart, organized, motivated “prey” will always be able to fight back and win. (This is also the principle of the velvet revolution.)

  • Bullies are easily cowed. Kill a few and the others find greener pastures. The more gruesome the killing the quicker the more self-interested disappear. A moral standard is needed. When it is violated and the violater suffers immediate, effective and horrendous vengeance, the calculus changes forever.